By Wallis Bell
Netflix recently announced the release date of their latest movie Dumplin’, a movie about a plus-size daughter of the literal town beauty queen – Jennifer Aniston.
With a film like this, I expect to see some kind of coming of age/self redemption story – however, I think this film may have a few trope-killers. I have nothing to back this up, however from the trailer it reveals itself to be a heartwarming comedy with a very powerful message.
Presented as another teen comedy, I can only hope that the viewership isn’t only 20-something females who have an unhealthy obsession with Dolly Parton, who features heavily on the soundtrack, due to her being Dumplin’s idol.
With that, however, I will try and keep this analytical review of first single from the film’s soundtrack “Girl in the Movies” written and performed by Dolly Parton, as unbiased as possible.
Here we go.
The song starts from an outsider’s perspective, one we can assume to be Dumplin’, watching and wishing to be the titular “Girl in the Movies”. As the song progresses, we travel further into the lyrics as they reveal the reason as to why the role of the Girl is so attractive.
From Dumplin’s point of view, she doesn’t seem happy. She feels out of control of her own life – hinted at by the line “She acts the role, she chooses, she can laugh or she can cry” However, as the second verse starts, Dumplin’ experiences an awakening. The song swells gently as Dumplin’ meets a turning point and gains a new sense of empowerment in herself, deciding to be that Girl, making her own choices and “stepping out”.
The calm but powerful tune in itself is not a sad one. It’s gentle, soothing beat and soft vocals from Dolly Parton grown and swell into a welcoming, enabling climax as the second last verse hits. Although differing from a mind-blowing crescendo, we have a subtle yet overwhelming reassurance of languid tempo change and Parton’s powerful lungs telling us that anyone who has felt this way in themselves can be The Girl in the Movies” and make the sudden change on their life to take control and live their own life.
As always, Dolly Parton delivered with this song, beautifully telling the story and giving us an understanding of not only what Dumplin’ wants, but what we all need. Penning not only this song but SIX OTHERS for this film, with collaborations from the likes of Macy Gray and Dorothy, it’s not hard to see why she’s Dumplin’s idol.
Dumplin’ is released on Netflix UK 7/12/18.